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August 16, 2018

Chicago’s Tallest Building Breaks Record With $1.5B Agreement



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Willis Tower, Chicago’s tallest building, is about to break another record. When the world’s largest private equity real estate owner, Blackstone Group, pays $1.5 billion for the 110-story Windy City icon, it will shatter the $850 million record price tag for Chicago set in 2014 with the sale of a nearby 60-story tower across the river.

Blackstone, the New York-based firm, has had its representatives visiting Willis Tower to perform due diligence, Crain’s Chicago Business reported on Friday.

The purchase is significant, even for a firm with $81 billion of real estate assets under its management, according to Crain’s report. Real Capital Analytics, a New York-based research firm, says it would be the 24th office deal in the U.S. to surpass the $1 billion mark, but only the fourth outside of the Big Apple. The 1,451-foot-tall property, formerly known as the Sears Tower, earns about $10,000 of income every hour.

At its projected sale price, Willis Tower is almost $400 per square foot for 3.8 million square feet of office space. For New York investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian and the Illinois-based American Landmark Properties, who purchased the tower for $840 million in 2004, there is a hefty profit to be made on the agreement with Blackstone, Crain’s reports.

Willis Tower, which completed construction in 1973, doesn’t command the rent prices of newer Chicago buildings. Only 84 percent of it is leased, and a new owner would need to spend money to attack new leasers to the empty spaces. Also, because the building is more than 40 years old, maintenance and modernization will require significant capital.

The observation deck on the 103rd floor provides a steady cash flow, in addition to retail and restaurant space, broadcast space and antennas, and building naming rights managed by Willis Group Holdings, a building tenant. Skydeck, the building’s popular tourist attraction, generates more than $25 million in revenue annually, according to Crain’s report. Total building operating income for 2015 is estimated at $88.6 million – that breaks down to $48.7 million for office, retail and restaurant space, $11.1 million from broadcasting, and the revenues from the Skydeck.

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Chicago’s Tallest Building Breaks Record With $1.5B Agreement

Secret children, living and dead, reportedly hidden by squalor for years

BLACKSTONE, Mass. — A Massachusetts town along the banks of a river was jarred by a gruesome sight this week: three dead infants in a home so squalid, police officers had to search it in hazmat suits.

Little is known about the infants found in Blackstone, including their ages, gender, as well as the causes and manners of their deaths, according to Tim Connolly of the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.

What’s also unclear is the relationship between them and a woman arrested in connection with their deaths. Law enforcement officials believe Erika Murray may be their mother, according to WBZ in Boston.

Murray, 31, was arraigned Friday on a slew of charges, including concealing an out of wedlock fetal death, two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child, intimidation of a witness, cruelty to an animal and violating an abuse prevention order, according to Connolly.

She has not been charged in the deaths.

Her attorney, Keith Halpern, suggested to WBZ that his client may be mentally ill.

“Who could live in that house who is not seriously mentally ill?” Halpern asked.

The state’s Department of Children and Families removed four children from the home on August 28 after allegations of negligence, spokeswoman Cayenne Isaksen said.

Two weeks after that, on September 11, detectives went to investigate, but they had ” to wear hazmat suits because of the deplorable conditions inside the home, which included massive insect infestation, mounds of used diapers and feces,” according to Connolly.

It was there, amid the filth and squalor, that police discovered the infants’ remains.

“It was a long and very difficult day,” said Joseph Early, the Worcester County District Attorney. “And a sad day.”

The state’s removal of the four living children at the home last month was the result of the filing of what’s called a 51A report in Massachusetts, according to Alec Loftus, a spokesman for the state’s office of Health and Human Services.

A 51A can be filed by any citizen with reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. It is not known who filed the report in this case, but Loftus told CNN that “mandatory reporters like police and doctors are required to file when they have cause.”

This was not the first time a 51A had been filed when it came to that home, according to Isaksen. She said such a report was previously received in 2007, but that “it was unsupported and therefore no case was opened.”

For now, Isaksen said DCF has the four children in its care. It is focused on “ensuring (their) safety and well-being and providing them with the proper medical care, support, and services they need,” she said. Connolly said that the family caring for them has no public statement to make at this time.

Murray’s case was adjourned to October 14. Investigators, meanwhile, remain at the scene digging through the squalor.

“Our investigation will continue for quite some time,” Early said.

Read the article: 

Secret children, living and dead, reportedly hidden by squalor for years

Massachusetts town jarred by discovery of 3 dead infants in squalid home

Saturday, September 13, 2014 – 3:20pm

A Massachusetts town along the banks of a river was jarred by a gruesome sight this week: three dead infants in a home so squalid, police officers had to search it in hazmat suits.

Little is known about the infants found in Blackstone, including their ages, gender, as well as the causes and manners of their deaths, according to Tim Connolly of the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.

What’s also unclear is the relationship between them and a woman arrested in connection with their deaths. Law enforcement officials believe Erika Murray may be their mother, according to WBZ in Boston.

Murray, 31, was arraigned Friday on a slew of charges, including concealing an out of wedlock fetal death, two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child, intimidation of a witness, cruelty to an animal and violating an abuse prevention order, according to Connolly.

She has not been charged in the deaths.

Her attorney, Keith Halpern, suggested to WBZ that his client may be mentally ill.

“Who could live in that house who is not seriously mentally ill?” Halpern asked.

The state’s Department of Children and Families removed four children from the home on August 28 after allegations of negligence, spokeswoman Cayenne Isaksen said.

Two weeks after that, on September 11, detectives went to investigate, but they had ” to wear hazmat suits because of the deplorable conditions inside the home, which included massive insect infestation, mounds of used diapers and feces,” according to Connolly.

It was there, amid the filth and squalor, that police discovered the infants’ remains.

“It was a long and very difficult day,” said Joseph Early, the Worcester County District Attorney. “And a sad day.”

The state’s removal of the four living children at the home last month was the result of the filing of what’s called a 51A report in Massachusetts, according to Alec Loftus, a spokesman for the state’s office of Health and Human Services.

A 51A can be filed by any citizen with reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. It is not known who filed the report in this case, but Loftus told CNN that “mandatory reporters like police and doctors are required to file when they have cause.”

This was not the first time a 51A had been filed when it came to that home, according to Isaksen. She said such a report was previously received in 2007, but that “it was unsupported and therefore no case was opened.”

For now, Isaksen said DCF has the four children in its care. It is focused on “ensuring (their) safety and well-being and providing them with the proper medical care, support, and services they need,” she said. Connolly said that the family caring for them has no public statement to make at this time.

Murray’s case was adjourned to October 14. Investigators, meanwhile, remain at the scene digging through the squalor.

“Our investigation will continue for quite some time,” Early said.

The-CNN-Wire

Originally posted here: 

Massachusetts town jarred by discovery of 3 dead infants in squalid home